Skip to main content
2:00 pm
on the right. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this racket on the right. that's what bill kristol calls
2:01 pm
the far right fringe, a racket. what's exposed this rift is the fiscal cliff, the united states faces this january 1st. the hard righters are attacking any sign of compromise as a white flag of retreat. who is going to ge could out the winner in this fight? the people who make money pulling conservatives to the hard right or the people who believe conservative office holders like liberal office holders have a real stake in making the government work. a far bigger question, will the war on the right help the country unite and avoid the fiscal cliff or will it give the right a chance to bring the house down. with me is ron reagan and dana milbank of the "washington post." there's been a new offer, unclear so far, put forward by the gop to the white house regarding the fiscal cliff. at this time nbc cannot confirm any specific details within the offer. it was sent over this afternoon. speaker boehner's spokesman said, quote, we sent the white house a counteroffer that would
2:02 pm
achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more american jobs. that's all we know. dana milbank, they say it's good. they said it will solve our problems. they won't say what it is. explain. >> well, look, we're still in the fairly early stage of posturing here, and nobody can strike a deal until they get closer to it, until their feet are to the fire. >> when do you say the fire begins? >> nobody can make any prediction for sure -- >> try. >> they could hammer this out in three hours if they really wanted to. >> that's right. >> but if they don't wait until the very end of december or even go over the cliff -- >> i think it's 21. i'm going to bet on -- what's your hunch about this, ron reagan? you're here -- i think they're going to try to get it done by christmas just for efficiency's sake and not to scare the horses. that's the thought i have. i may be conservative about this. >> yeah, i think you're right, they'd like to, but i'm not sure they can get it done before christmas, maybe before the end of the year. i think, again, as we get down to the last few hours, i think
2:03 pm
then you will see a real push to get something done. as dana implied, everybody knows in a sense what this agreement in broad strokes is going to look like. we're going to have tax increases on the upper 2% and we're not going to have a tax increase on the middle class. and there's going to be some spending cuts. but that's, you know, that's about all we know tem. >> let's take a look at this fight. that seems to be emerging on the right. it's not surprising. to some extent it may be represented on the left but i don't think so. republicans fall into two camps. the realists we'll call them and the ideologues we'll call them because it makes sense. former mississippi governor who is a realist haley barbour planted him in the realist camp and even rush limbaugh has acknowledged republicans' weak position. let's listen to both. >> as a republican, i would take raising the rates on the two top brackets if in return we had tax reform laid out over a period of months, if we had entitlement reform, if you have the whole
2:04 pm
package. i would hold my nose. >> what i'm saying is i don't think there's a republican alive who can stop what's going to happen. we don't have the leverage, the power isn't there. >> talk about a decisive move. we got him in the realist category, it's a strange brew. then the ideologues. i thought rush was always there. they say avoid tax increases at all costs. here is kentucky senator rand paul. let's listen. >> i think the president's got it exactly backwards. he's adamant about raising tacks and etion dead wrong. >> what do you think of mr. boehner's idea, cap can heductions and get $800 billion in revenues. does that make any sense? >> it's a tax increase. it's a bad idea. >> what kind of question was that to ask him? conservative blocker and editor of red, eric ericsson, he wrote a piece entitled why john boehner must not fold on tax rate increases. it's a shame that republicans
2:05 pm
are playing into mr. obama's hands negotiating in public prematuring giving up on the tack issue. this is why i think it's an easy case to make if you're on the right. we had an election. if you respect the election, you must assume they were paying attention when barack obama, the president, as you like to say appropriately, the president over and over in every speech said we've got to raise the tax rates on the top bracket. and everybody heard it, and everybody voted for him knew they were voting for that and that was the majority. that would help the conservatives say this time i'll go with the voter. >> and this shows if you live long enough, you will see anything happen and now we have rush limbaugh being the voice of moderation. >> on the dream team. >> within the republican party. the voice for pragmatic decision making in the party. i think people do realize that. they say it privately. each day more and more of them say it publicly. this is inevitably where we're going but the republican party is like the lord of the flies. it's not clear who is in charge.
2:06 pm
that's why i can't join you. i can't join you in that prediction because it's not clear whether a guy like rand paul has enough people with him -- >> let's talk about the president for a second. you remember cool hand luke. i sometimes think this president is cool hand luke. back when he was fighting, people would say get going, take her on, she's killing you. she was 20 points ahead, he beat her. we watched the complain, i'm having a stroke, he says i got it, stop being so crazy about this. he's playing it very cool. it's now december 11th. they've got ten days under a fast clock to get this done. is he too cool? is he sending a message out there on the stump that he wants to send? >> yeah. i think he is, and, no, i don't think he's too cool. look, if we go over the fiscal cliff, it will only be for a little while and it's probably to the democrats' advantage anyway. they'll say the republicans pushed us over the cliff in the first place and by the way, now that eve gone over the cliff, about 70% of the deficit would take care of it if we stay over
2:07 pm
the cliff at least. you know, i take dana's reference to lord of the flies. it's really more like a monkey's wedding or something out there, the disarray in the republican party. >> i have never been to one of those actually. >> well, you can imagine the confusion. yeah. but it's the ideologues versus the pragmatists. the pragmatists simply want to serve their donor base. that's why they don't want to raise taxes on the rich but the ideologues have a different game altogether. they want to bring down government basically. >> well, you can't watch the game without a scorecard. here is some more of the people on the pragma side and it's an unusual shaping up. bill kristol is leading the criticism, that the republican needs a come to jesus moment. he writes, it may be major parts of american conservatism have become sauch racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary. joe scarborough, our colleague,
2:08 pm
amplified his opinion on "more than joe" yesterday. let's listen to joe. >> conservatism is a racket for a lot of people to get very, very rich. >> david frum, a former speechwriter for "w" agrees. conservatism has been corroded by money. let's listen. >> the conservative followership has fleeced, exploited, and lied to by the conservative entertainment complex. >> this is great stuff. it's basically like an eisenhower speech, military industrial complex. he says basically you have people like rush out there making zillions. people in the blog steer who just enjoy what they're doing but there's an entertainment industry led by hannity and the rest of them and they always take the fringe side. >> sure. it's blindingly obvious what they're saying but the fact they're now saying it is kind of interesting. if you went back and looked at the tea party, a lot of the so-called populist groups were funded and backed by the u.s. chamber of commerce and other corporate interests. you have all these well-meaning
2:09 pm
blue collar republicans out there doing the bidding of millionaires -- >> how are they backed by the chamber? >> all kinds of corporate lobbyists are involved. if you look at the people, they have just been transplanted over from other well-funded groups to try to harness that tea party movement and well-meaning people were exploited. >> you said you wouldn't mind tiptoeing across the finish line january 1st. i have no idea. i'm afraid of that risk myself, but what are the right wing, what if they bring this house down. they do want this trouble. you don't want this economy to flatten out and go to a second recession. what are the right wingers who don't want any deal whatnot? what is their card game at the end, ron? >> it's kind of a crisis capitalism in a way or crisis governance. they create an energy by going over the fiscal cliff and then they say because we have this big emergency we need to do drastic things to defund mostly the domestic side of government, turn it over to private
2:10 pm
industry. that's their aim. it's to drown the government in their bathtub as grover norquist famously said. >> i know. that sounds like the late senator moynihan that the idea of supply side was basically to get rid of so much revenue the government had such big deficits that even liberals couldn't call for new programs. dana, your thoughts on that? >> that would be well and good except they're also getting all the taxes to go up at the same time so they're not achieving anything by that. the republicans realize they lose politically if we go over the fiscal cliff, but this isn't just a political thing. the country loses economically if we go over it and then everybody is going to suffer -- >> let's go back to normal world. assume everybody is rational for five seconds. >> i can't do that. >> dana, you first. you're here in washington and then ron. what's the game play out the next few days. i think the republicans have reached the end of the line. they're hoping obama will show his cards and come out with cuts for entitlements and then they will show something on tax cuts. >> he has no incentive to do
2:11 pm
anything at least publicly. >> will they show their cards on tax cuts first ? >> they have to. >> who is going to show their hand first. >> the republicans. they're going to have to. obama can stand pat and he's doing it right now. he can be cool hand luke. >> i think that's the way he is playing, very cool. thank you. he's going to force john boehner to come out and say what he wants done to protect the rich people or not protect them. thank you ron reagan, thank you and dana mill ban. a big anti-union vote in mooer michigan is coming up. a right and left going at it. it isn't about gutting unions. a lot of people think so. stf about lowering wages and hurting democrats? you bet. plus the most talked about movie in hollywood hasn't even talked about. it's about torture. many critics say "zero dark thirty" suggests without torture we wouldn't have gotten the guy. it's going to be hot.
2:12 pm
and the gop's favorite supreme court justice scalia just came out with a sugar plum. if we can't have moral feelings request homosex you'llity, can we have it against murder? can we have it against other things? finally, let me finish with the problem with judge scalia. i think you just heard it. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
2:13 pm
everyone loves a winner. president obama's job approval rating has been lifted by his re-election victory. several new polls have him above 50%. some by large margins. 50% aprorve the job is doing versus 47% two disapprove.the president is plus eight in a new gallup poll. he's plus 12 in the national journal's latest polling, 54 slrs/42%. in a new associated press poll, president obama is plus 16, 57%
2:14 pm
approve versus just 41% for disapprove. by the way, we served the good wine last year as you noticed. we'll be right back. [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
2:15 pm
2:16 pm
welcome back to "hardball." about 10,000 demonstrators took to the michigan state capital todays a labor supporters protested two right to work bills in the state long known for its proud union history. the bills would mean workers would not have to join a union or be forced to pay deuce, and those bills are headed to the governor's desk right now. republican governor rick snyder had in the past said right to work with a difficult advice sif issue but plans on signing the legs into law making michigan the 24th right to work state. bob king is president of the united autoworkers. scott hager strum is michigan state director for americans for prosperity. let me show you with the governor said earlier today when he was a guest on "andrea mitchell reports." >> the way i viewed it, it's on
2:17 pm
the table, it's a hot issue. let's show some leadership so i stepped up to say when i review it, i think it's a good thing. it's about being pro-worker, giving freedom of choice to workers, secondly in the earlier report, it's about economic development. we will get more and better jobs coming to michigan because we're going to be more competitive. it's important to make a distinction with wisconsin and ohio. that was about collective bargaining. that was about the relationship between employers and unions. this has nothing to do with that. right to work with about the relationship between the union and workers, and this is about being pro-workers, giving workers the choice. if anything, this should encourage unions to be more responsive to workers in terms of saying they need to show a value proposition of why they're a great place to join. >> bob king, thank you, sir, mr. president, for joining us tonight. a lot of viewers are well younger because they don't remember the fights after world war ii and all that fight about right to work and whether states should have a right to pass these laws. make your case quite simply. why should a worker be forced to join a union?
2:18 pm
>> well, let's start out with the facts. no worker in america is forced to join a union. the national labor re-elections act say that any worker -- our uaw constitution says any worker who does not want to be a member, does not have to be. they still work. the question here really is do citizens in a community pay their fair share of the police, the fire, the snow removal, any of the services they get from that community? yes, they do. i want to ask governor snyder, is he -- >> no, no. bob, let me ask you the question. i know you had fun with me on that one. in other words, you have to pay the equivalent of the dues even if you're not a member of the union, right? you're forced to do it in order to work. >> you don't have to be a member of the union. so it's not about freedom to be in the union or not. >> why should you be forced to pay the equivalent of union dues in order to work? >> you're responsible to pay your fair share of the cost of representation. if two workers are on the line, they both get the benefit of the contract, they get the raises, the pension, the health care.
2:19 pm
if you say one worker doesn't have to pay, you're giving him a raise. you're creating divisiveness on the shop floor. everybody should pay their fair share. that's kind of an american principle. we're fighting about that in washington on the fiscal cliff, too. >> let me -- last question for you, suppose the republicans they don't like the uaw's liberal point 6 view on politics. >> none of our dues dollars goes to -- very, very little. we raise our money for politics through voluntary contributions. the money that members pay in dues goes to pay for the representation they get. >> okay. well said. let me go to mr. hagerstrum. why are republicans and your organization against unions because this is pretty much a union gutting operation. you would like to see -- you work for the koch brothers. they don't like unions. why are you working for them? >> you know, i work for americans for prosperity. this is not about the koch brothers. >> who is paying your salary? >> i work for americans for prosperity --
2:20 pm
>> who is paying your salary? >> americans for prosperity. i came here to talk about the policy and -- >> who is paying your salary to do it? who is paying your salary to do what you're doing right now? >> i just told you. americans for prosperity. >> what is that? >> we've been advocating -- i'm sorry? >> who is paying you to do this today? >> i just told you. americans for prosperity. >> you're not answering my questions. >> we're a nonprofit. >> i just told you what the answer is. i came here to talk about policy. >> i want to know why. >> my family are union workers and they had to leave the state a long time ago. because i care about this issue. it's very personal. my parents had to leave the state a long time ago because they were union workers. michigan was a rich state. today we're a poor state. we want to return michigan to economic growth and we know this governor and legislative leaders are dedicated to this. what's special about this these people that demonstrated here today, when this passes they can still belong to a union. they still have that free choice. nothing changes for them.
2:21 pm
this is a win/win for everybody. >> so you're not -- just to make this clear, mr. king, you're the president of an international union. you were elected and you serve and you get paid by the union. i understand that. i just want to understand what this other fellow, how he finances his being here today because there's a real question whether you're a front for the owners, for the people that really don't like unions, and you tell me you're not -- you won't answer the question who is paying your salary. that's all i want to know. who is paying you? >> we have over 3,000 donors. >> americans for prosperity. i told you, year a nonprofit like the red cross, like any other nonprofit organization. we're here to talk about the policy and why this is going to move michigan forward. in indiana over 42,000 new jobs. in the same period michigan was stagnant on their employment growth. we want those jobs to come to michigan. >> let me go back to mr. king. >> yes. >> you have had a great -- let me just tell you what i know how good you are because it was a
2:22 pm
clean union from the beginning. it's a very liberal union with big picture ideas. isn't just interested in wages and work rules. interested in the welfare of mittle class people. you have a great union there. is this right to work thing really going to hurt your union and kill the esprit de corps of the union workers? why would this hurt them? >> i don't think it will in the uaw. we have great membership loyalty. the problem is it's just the first step. we have watch nt this state right wing legislatures pass laws to take away the collective bargaining rights from public sector employees on health care and pensions. they did a petty vindictive law that took away the right to deuce deductions for teachers. that's why we're fighting here today, we want to stop this before they try it take away the rights of private sector workers to bargain over wages or pensions or health care. this is about democracy and about america. also want to say for economic development, governor snyder was just bragging yesterday 144,000 jobs since he's been governor.
2:23 pm
most of those created by the auto industry through collective bargaining. we sat down with ford, general motors, and chrysler, our in my opinion made sacrifices so we could get more economic development, more product, investment, billions of dollars is going into michigan because of unions and collective bargaining helping not just union workers but workers, all workers throughout the state. and you know, chris, and i know, in right to work states, average income is down, average wages is down, not as much pension or retirement security is in union states, less spending on k through 12 education, less spending on infrastructure. why? because workers make less, less tax revenue coming in. right to work is bad for americans. >> why do people like the koch brothers oppose unionization, mr. hagerstom. >> unions will stont to thrive and to go forward. this gives individuals the right to determine what happens to their hard-earned money. you do not have to give your
2:24 pm
hard-earned money to a private organization to keep your job. it's that simple. it's that sirm. this is going to move michigan forward. it's going to move our state forward, allow us to compete for great paying jobs. we believe the uaw, they're going to have to be competitive, they're going to have to earn the dues from those union members and from the people on the line, and it they earn them and they're competitive, they will stay in the union and they will keep their membership. so i think they're up to the task. i think they're up to being xet at this just like everyone else in our society and we look forward to them being more responsive to workers. >> one last question, i know the funding relationship of mr. king as i said he was elected press of an international union with a good reputation. your organization i want to know more about. again, for the fifth time, who pays your salary? >> i told you i work for americans for prosperity. >> who pays your salary? >> i told you, americans for prosperity. >> and who is that? >> that's a nonprofit. we have over 87,000 activists.
2:25 pm
>> are the koch brothers behind you? just yes or no. why are you quibbling? i think you guys are working for the koch brothers and you're not denying it. you're talking for them and i'm talking to you and you won't tell me who you work for. >> i'm talking for 87,000 act advices in michigan and they want right to work, freedom to work in the workplace. they want an economy where people can earn more money. today we're 37th. we were a rich state, today we're a poor state. things have to change. change is difficult and i understand the unions have captive members and they want to keep those captive members -- >> you look like the captive. thank you. >> we want to move our economy forward. >> i want to learn more about your work relationship with the koch brothers. it's a big question this christmas season, which political party would santa claus belong to? that's ahead, and this is "hardball," the place for
2:26 pm
politics. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful.
2:27 pm
take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
2:28 pm
meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
2:29 pm
back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." matt damon does bill clinton. last night he told jay leno about an awkward bill clinton encounter he witnessed at a party back in the '90s. someone supposed up primary colors, that movie that gave a morally challenged portrait of clinton and damon remembers clinton's response about the actor who refused to play limb in the movie. >> in pausing he goes, you know, i understand they offered that part to tom hanks. tom hanks turned it down. he said it was disrespectful to the office of the president of the united states of america. i like tom hanks. >> now we know how clinton tells you what he feels about someone else.
2:30 pm
next, a lot of republicans are still trying to figure out how to win elections. one idea broaden your base to attract more voters. another possibility, keep talking up voter photo i.d. laws and trying to prevent democrats from casting a ballot. enter republican campaign consultant scott trantor. here he is at a panel discussion yesterday talking about why democrats and republicans will never agree about voter i.d. laws. >> i don't hold out any hope there's going to be any great grand bipartisan agreement on voter i.d. laws at the end of the day. a lot of us are campaign officials, campaign proflalsed and we want to do everything we can to help our side. sometimes we think that's voter i.d., longer lines, whatever it may be. >> longer lines. at least he's honest. make it hard for the opposition to vote with the i.d. laws or keep them waiting in long lines. good idea, scott. worked a lot this year, didn't it? next, a serious political question. santa claus, democrat or republican?
2:31 pm
a holiday themed poll from ppp. the results, no surprise. 44% said santa is a democrat versus 28% who said he's a republican. maybe that's because republicans don't like the giveaaspect. next question, will president obama get coal or presents this year? it's tight. 51% said gifts, 49% said coal. for mitt romney, it's 63% for gifts, 37% for coal. maybe it's some kind of consolation prize. finally, senate majority leader harry reid paid tribute to ben nelson of nebraska yesterday and fessed up that the outgoing nebraska democrat is something he wants. the hint is in the top half of the picture. >> if the truth were known, many, many senatorings would be very envious, as i am, and i would even think the presiding officer, about that hair of ben nelson's. i mean, that is a mop of real
2:32 pm
hair. it's often that people call his office, e-mail his office. they believe he has a toupee. it's his hair. he has hair like a 15-year-old, mr. president, and so i have to acknowledge i am a little envious of his hair. >> hair envy aside, nelson's real mark might be casting what many people called the deciding vote in favor of obama care. that was quite a moment. up next, the new movie "zero dark thirty" suggests we wouldn't have gotten bin laden without torturing terror suspects. not everyone agrees, and that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ if it wasn't for you
2:33 pm
♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take up to an extra 15 percent off storewide, now through sunday. take up to an extra 15 percent off storewide, you know it can be hard to lbreathe, and how that feels.e, copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open for 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both.
2:34 pm
spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. (blowing sound) ask your doctor about spiriva.
2:35 pm
i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap.
2:36 pm
fiscal cliff worries put a damper on today's triple digit rally but the dow ends with a 78 point gain, the s&p up 9, the nasdaq adds 35 points. aig shares jumped nearly 6%. the treasury department says it has sold all its remaining shares netting a $22.7 billion profit for taxpayers. and on the economic front, the trade deficit widened in october as exports posted their biggest decline in nearly four years. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." ♪ welcome back to "hardball." one of the most anticipated movies of the holiday season is "zero dark thirty" the story 69 manhunt for osama bin laden. critics have praised it but it's not without controversy. the film shows brutal scenes of torture against an al qaeda
2:37 pm
detainee. many who have seen it say torture provided the groundwork for capturing and killing osama bin laden. as a moral statement, zero dark thirty is pord borderline fascistic. katherine big lowe said the movie was honest in its depiction of torture. >> i think the film doesn't have an agenda. i think it shows the story of the greatest manhunt in history and that's part of the history. >> but how honest is that history in the film? many experts say the film gets its facts wrong about the central role torture played. david eddel steen joins us as does frank bruney. thank you. it's an honor to have both of you on. daifd, let me ask you about the movie. is it an honest portrayal of what happened as best you know?
2:38 pm
>> i think it's a very neutral portray portrayal. i don't know the specifics. i didn't talk to any of the cia people involved. what i have heard is that the screenwriter kind of drank the kool-aid and fell in love with his cia sources and are taking their point of view. peter bergen in his book "manhunt" and also in a recent article implies that there was absolutely no link between so-called extreme interrogation and information that led to the courier who ultimately brought them to bin laden. >> for those having seen the film, do you believe it makes the case that torture was essential in killing bin laden? >> can i answer that in a vigorously wishy washy way? >> i guess you will. >> because i think that kathryn bigelow, if you look at her last film, the hurt locker" it gain with a quote from chris hedges to the effect that war is a drug, an addiction, and kathryn bigelow is kind of an amoral filmmaker. she portrayed a woman who is basically addicted to revenge,
2:39 pm
who is on a kind of counter jihad. big low takes her point of view and shoots the torture scenes in a neutral way, they are ugly, disturbing and at the same time given what the film is about, they don't exactly make us want to go out and sign a petition against torture. they are sort of portrayed as ugly but necessary, and i think that's the central question. was it necessary? we know it's ugly. was it necessary? >> so, frank, same two questions to you. is the movie accurate and does it justify means as a justification because 69 ends. because you get the bad guy it's okay to torture somebody along the way. >> i don't think the movie makes the case. i don't think it wads into capturing obama -- i mean captured osama is worth torture but it does suggest very, very strongly without the torture we would never have been able to raid that compound, we would never have gotten there. this is a movie i think it's important to note the makers of it have said we took a very
2:40 pm
journalistic approach. they have raised the bar on its accuracy in a way that doesn't happen for other movies. so the fact they imply so strongly, maybe even more than ip ply, that torture was essential to killing osama bin laden and there are a lot of questions among experts about whether that's so, i think that's a big issue to be discussed. >> well, let me go back to david. i have seen about three movies that might be considered fashistic. i'm not saying they're bad. one was the chase. i definitely think that had that element, straw dogs, of course, history of violence. the good guys get to be the violent people. that narrows it down without getting too ideological about it. is that one of the movies that people like me would like? >> it's not as extreme as the tv series "24." but there is in the american action cinema and particularly this idea that means justify ends, and that it's just a given that in order effectively to
2:41 pm
fight criminals or evil doers that the heroes have to descend to the same moral level, and i think bigelow who is a male oriented filmmaker does buy into this myth. well, the question is, is it a myth? is it a valid archetype? what is it. i think we have to debate that. >> can we defeat terrorism by playing by gentlemenly rules to use the same kind of reference point? >> you're asking a film critic? you're really asking a film krit snik. >> you guys make moral judgments all the time. >> actually, i don't know the answer to that, but i do know if you look at our fiction -- our so-called dramatic or narrative cinema, that is ringingly endorsed in the same way that, you know, the death penalty and vengeance is sanctified in our cinema. if you look at a documentary like alex gid ni's great oscar winning film "taxi to the dark side" you have a lot of fbi people, not cia, arguing that
2:42 pm
extreme interrogation doesn't work. that it makes people psychotic. that friendly interrogation, in fact, does a lot more to getting information. i don't think friendly interrogation, frankly, is quite as sinemetic. >> did torture play an essential role in the hunt for bin laden. dianne feinstein says unequivocally no. she spent three years looking at millions of pages of evidence. earlier she wrote, cia did not first learn about the existence of osama bin laden courier for detines subjected to subjective interrogation techniques. instead, the cia learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the cia detention and internation program. that's after her statement and one of the fbi interrogators who was successful in getting information from al qaeda detainees using noncoercive means has strongly criticized the cia's use of torture saying it didn't work. listen to what he says on "60 minutes" about what happened after a cia interrogator showed
2:43 pm
up to take over the questioning of one of the detainees he had been dealing with. let's watch. >> supposedly he's an expert in the field. so i asked him, do you know anything about islamic fundamentalism? he said no. have you ever interrogated anybody? no. he basically said no, he knows human nature. >> and how does he react to this? >> he basically stopped cooperating. >> the information dried up? >> yes, totally. >> frank, is that true? that he stopped talking after they start getting rough with him? >> i don't know enough about the particular case. i can't answer that. >> let me ask you generally about this. how is this going to coming out? frank, you're a general columnist. i read you a couple times a week. how is this going to play with most people, liberals and everyone, when they watch a movie which has this tough approach to getting an evil person. how are we going to react to it? >> i think some liberals will be pretty upset because i think most people will walk out of this movie with the impression
2:44 pm
that torture was a vital part of getting osama bin laden in the end, and the history of this, the experts about this, that's not what they say. there's debate about this and there's a strong belief among many of the most trustworthy experts that torture is not necessary in these sorts of interrogations and to get this sort of information, and so i think a lot of liberals -- i don't want to even do this in liberals and conservatives. i think a lot of people who have moral qualms about torture and don't want to accept it toob easily as a necessary technique are going to feel a bit uneasy this movie. that's not say it's not a terrific movie as a movie, but the bar for this movie is a little bit different and higher because the makers have said they took a journalistic approach. >> chris, let me say one more thing about the film. in its defense torture only occupies about the first 30 minutes. i know for many people that's quite enough, and there is an enormous amount of detective work involved in actually finding the location of the courier. the other thing is that the
2:45 pm
movie -- it kind of fudges. i have so say they kind of fudge the actual revelation. they torture the guy, it doesn't work, and then they trick him into saying that he said something that he didn't say and then he spills everything in a very calm and casual way. so -- >> but, david, didn't you have the sense that was a product of him having been broke snn. >> absolutely. certainly. >> i always tell people, i have been watching movies for years with stars i don't like and i like them in the mo offy. so i think it's one more thing we have to use our discernment when we watch. thank you very much frank and david. >> thank you. >> thanks. up next, supreme court justice antonin scalia's latest insult to gay americans. is this what the republican party needs right now? this is "hardball," the place for politics. customer erin swenson bought from us online today.
2:46 pm
so, i'm happy. sales go up... i'm happy. it went out today... i'm happy. what if she's not home? (together) she won't be happy. use ups! she can get a text alert, reroute... even reschedule her package. it's ups my choice. are you happy? i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics. till you finish your vegetables.
2:47 pm
[ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes! south carolina governor nikki haley says she won't appoint a placeholder to take jim demint's seat in the u.s. senate but rather someone who could serve for years. the favorite among south carolinians would be comedian stephen colbert. the south carolina native gets 20% of the vote there. you see it. u.s. congressman tim scott gets 15% and 14% favor u.s. congressman trey gowdy. another 11% would pick jenny sanford, the ex-wife of mark sanford. jenny sanford, tim scott, and goudy are all on hailey's short list. colbert is not. we'll be right back. [ scratching ]
2:48 pm
you're not using too much are you, hon? ♪ nope. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less versus the leading value brand. don't worry, there's plenty left for you dad. we all go. why not enjoy the go with charmin ultra soft? ♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission.
2:49 pm
they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. if you're a man with low testosterone, you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. do not use if you have prostate or breast cancer. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet, or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness
2:50 pm
or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. see your doctor, and for a 30-day free trial, go to we're back. supreme court justice antonin scalia is causing controversy for comments he made while selling his book at princeton. a gay students asked about the anti-sodomy laws and laws against murder and bestiality. scalia replied i don't think it's necessary but i think it's effective. it's a form of argument that i thought you would have known which is called the abduction to the absurd. if we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder and other things? in addition to causing trouble, scalia's outspokenness comes at
2:51 pm
a time when many republicans are keeping quiet on the upcoming supreme court fight. here with me tonight are christine quinn and joy reed. madam speaker, judge scalia is an interesting character. tell me what was your reaction. he cashed in a number of ways, he was making absurd comparison. let's get back to the morality issue. what is the connection between your personal views of morality and your views of the constitution? >> you know, look. he wasn't teaching a law class there. he was making a point, i believe, about what he actually thinks. and the job of the supreme court when they're going to take up this very important matter isn't what they personally think about lgbt people. it is what the constitution sets out as a framework for protecting the rights of americans. that's the question here.
2:52 pm
and i believe the supreme court is going to rise to that occasion as they have before and look at those important issues. and really the justice should apologize for what he said there. >> what did he say? tell me what exactly he said wrong. besides the way he talked. just the comparison of murder with people's orientation? >> it's offensive. sexual orientation is who we are as people. and to compare that even in a way you want to say was some philosophical exercise to a heinous crime of murder, it's just wrong. he can say it was a slip of a tongue and that's fine. we all have them. god knows i have. just apologize. but don't compare me to a murderer because i'm a lesbian. just don't do it. it's wrong. >> joy, you know, i'm going to -- first, there's a lot of complexity here. just the certain way this guy talks. what was your reaction when you
2:53 pm
heard this? it's like back in the problem era. what brings the vocabulary into areas of -- why bestiality? just don't say the word again. why don't they just repel that kind of lingo? >> you know, chris. i'm with you on that. when i heard it, i was like here we go. i don't know who said it. that conservatism is about yelling stop, right? and that is what scalia represents at his core. he's a person who has stood to stop. as being a head of public opinion on issues of rights whether it was the brown v. board case. when the supreme court got ahead of public opinion and advanced rights forward. scalia has been consistent throughout his career that believes the constitution as he said in the same speech is dead, dead, dead. and we should go back to the
2:54 pm
intent and stand athwart it yelling stop. i think we are seeing his personal opinions of homosexuality coming forward in what he said. the problem for him is that's not the court's job. the state and the country has a compelling interest with murder. is there a compelling interest in stopping people from getting married? that's the problem he'll have. >> my approach is if you're conservative on these issues, even if you're a chief justice or whatever you are. why doesn't he just say call me old fashioned or anything. just why do you have to be nasty? i think it's the question of nastiness. your thoughts, christine. as a gay woman, is there a proper way for someone who disagrees with you to talk? >> there is. i've had any number of conversations with people who disagree with marriage equality, disagree with different lgbt issues. and you know what? two people who disagree sitting down and talking in a dignified
2:55 pm
why leads to deeper understanding. maybe some day one person changing their opinion. my father always said it's nice to be nice. and it is. and you should treat other human beings even if you disagree with them, even if you dislike who they are, in a respectful way. the justice was disrespectful to me and my family. and that doesn't further my understanding him better or him understanding me better. which is ultimately where we all want to be headed in life. >> you sound like a smart politician. anyway, thank you christine quinn. and joy, as always. you can play any position on this team. we'll be right back. my wife takes centrum silver. i've been on the fence about it. then i read an article about a study that looked at the long term health benefits of taking multivitamins. they used centrum silver for the study... so i guess my wife was right. [ male announcer ] centrum. always your most complete.
2:56 pm
to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! so i guess my wife was right. it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful.
2:57 pm
take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. social security are just numbers thinkin a budget.d... well, we worked hard for those benefits. we earned them. and if washington tries to cram decisions about the future... of these programs into a last minute budget deal...
2:58 pm
we'll all pay the price. aarp is fighting to protect seniors with responsible... solutions that strengthen medicare and... social security for generations to come. we can do better than a last minute deal... that would hurt all of us.
2:59 pm
this. scalia. for those who grew up like i did, he's a familiar guy. all those years my dad was in columbus, there was guys like justice scalia around. they were at the picnics, christmas parties. my dad's best friend gene shields played his helper. the guy who did that stunning somersault coming down the aisle of the old church hall declaring santa claus is coming. yes, i know guys like scalia. faithful guys who hung out with the boys for whom monday night was holy named and friday night was bowling night. they were old fashioned guys.

Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC December 11, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Michigan 12, Alabama 6, Scalia 5, Washington 5, Louisiana 4, Cia 4, Mississippi 4, Florida 4, U.s. 4, Us 4, Dana 3, Ron Reagan 3, America 3, Karen 3, Tom Hanks 3, Osama Bin 3, Dana Milbank 2, Axiron 2, Ben Nelson 2, Ron 2
Network MSNBC
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Virtual Ch. 787 (MSNBC HD)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1920
Pixel height 1080
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 12/11/2012